Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
A man’s eyes see a woman’s beauty in a second. Thus far there is no sin. But three sinful stages follow that are a prelude to adultery. The eyes linger and move to fascination with the details of her beauty, the heart moves from nobly admiring to hungrily desiring her, and the soul becomes willing to the invitation of her eyes. Here are the three steps to hell!
The depraved heart of man is polygamous. It is never content. The other woman is always more desirable, just as the forbidden fruit in Eden exceeded all others in appeal. The unknown is always presumed superior to the familiar. Fallen man is vulnerable to a beautiful woman, as the pleasure she embodies exceeds any other in this life. Therefore, wise men must rule their eyes and heart to resist her dangerous beauty and wiles.
Solomon and his wife wanted to save their son from adultery (Pr 6:20-35). Here he gives rules, consequences, and warnings to protect his son from this heinous and horrible sin. Wise men will consider these things day and night (Pr 6:21-23), lest they destroy their estate, reputation, and soul by succumbing to her beauty and sinful ways (Pr 6:24-35).
Sin follows a simple course. Every man has lusts. When those lusts are given an object and allowed to consider it, they will powerfully entice the man. The lusts plan the sin, and the man executes it. Then the sin brings painful consequences and eventual death. These are the real facts of life that every young man should be taught (James 1:13-16).
The appeal of an attractive woman is incredibly powerful. It destroyed the sons of God and brought the Flood (Gen 6:2), and it took David down in seconds (II Sam 11:2). No woman can fully understand the instantaneous draw a beautiful woman has on the soul of a man through his eyes. It is an overpowering object of desire, unless he is walking in the Spirit and ruling his spirit. So Christian women must dress modestly (I Tim 2:9-10).
Man! When you see a beautiful woman, and you will, do not let your heart obey your lusts to fantasize about how much you want her and how happy she could make you. You must not think on her details in your heart. It is acceptable to say, “That is a beautiful woman,” like when viewing a house, car, or garden. But it is unacceptable to think, “I love those curves, and without clothes, she would give pleasure I have never had before.”
The eyes are windows of the soul; they can sometimes express more than words can tell. Solomon knew of their power (Song 4:9). Immodest women paint their faces to accent their eyes, as did Jezebel (II Kgs 9:30). Wanton eyes are the tools of whores (Is 3:16). When a woman uses her eyes to flatter a man and offer herself intimately to him, the most discreet and powerful enticement a man will ever face, the trap is complete. So Christian women must maintain a look of shamefacedness and sobriety (I Tim 2:9-10).
What are the cures for her beauty and eyelids? Remember the three steps to hell, and provide a defense against each. There is much wisdom here. Solomon had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. Through wide experience, and exceptional understanding from God, he knew more about women and their dangers than you and your counselors.
First, avoid seeing a beautiful woman and moving to fascination with her by reducing your exposure to only the necessary. Take precautions against encountering beautiful women, especially acquaintances. This cure includes colleagues, neighbors, or church members. Jesus said you should be willing to cut off your right hand to avoid her (Matt 5:27-30; Rom 13:14). When you feel the rising heat due to a desirable woman, get away quickly while your visual impression is still noble admiration and virtuous appreciation.
Second, keep your heart with all diligence, so it will not recall the images of her beauty and cause you to play with them by fantasy (Pr 4:23). Fill your heart with wisdom, righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come (Acts 14:25). Think about Jesus Christ, heaven, Scripture, and prayer (Phil 3:20; Col 3:2). Daily activities must include self-examination, repentance, and confession (Ps 139:23-24). Remind yourself of the terrible consequences of sexual sins (Pr 5:1-14). Renew the covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1).
Finally, to avoid her invitations, reject casual social interaction and eye-to-eye contact. The price is too high, the danger too great. Every man knows which women tempt him, and they cannot be his social companions or correspondents. And this warning includes both looks and conversations. Remember that phones and texts can also carry seduction.
The man who has excited his lusts to a feverish pitch with pornography, unhindered fantasies, or other lascivious practices will not stand a chance. His body and mind craves the first opportunity. The rules of this proverb are too late; the burning desire for sexual satisfaction turns even average women into objects of lustful desire (II Pet 2:14). If they are weak or wanton, he will go down as certainly as sheep go down to the slaughter.
Christian woman, be careful to cover your body well and limit casual conversation with men, especially if you are attractive. You will never understand the pain and trouble you cause by your physical presence and friendliness. Stay at home; love your husband; dress modestly, hide your eyes; talk to women; hold your children; be merciful and virtuous.
Christian man, do not be hasty to judge a good Christian woman as arrogant or rude, because her reservation in conversation, eye contact, friendliness, or body language may be precisely the modest conduct God requires (I Tim 2:9-10; Titus 2:3-5). Be thankful you have met such a virtuous queen and honor and protect her well as your twice sister.
The warning of the proverb also applies to the whorish Church of Rome and her harlot daughters (Rev 17:1-6). They seductively adorn their exteriors to attract men, while covering the deceit and fraud of their doctrine. They use their wiles to seduce the simple, without telling them of the hell to come. They appear attractive and are forward in their invitations, but they are the enemies of Christ. Come out of her, my people (Rev 18:4).